“As a business, you need to continually optimize your pages and personalize on a more targeted level to eventually achieve a one-to-one conversation with each individual visitor.”
1. Tell us about your role at Instapage and how you got here?
I am the CEO and Founder of Instapage. Instapage was born out of my personal frustrations with the inefficiencies in the advertising funnel and the lack of post-click marketing, particularly when it came to advertising. It was extremely easy to optimize and personalize ads to match the needs and wants of consumers to drive a high volume of clicks. But, once a visitor clicked on an ad there was no easy way to create, optimize, and personalize the experience for visitors at the scale needed to maximize conversions. If an advertiser wanted to create a landing page a developer was almost always needed. This could take weeks and even longer if variations were introduced for testing. Now, Instapage allows advertisers to create experiences, optimize for conversions, and personalize for each audience, all at scale within minutes without the need for developers.
2. What is it that you found lacking in the advertising technology and automation landscape then vs. now?
There was and still is a massive gap between the pre-click and post-click stages in the advertising funnel. Advertising technology has become extremely sophisticated with trillions of data points with which advertisers can personalize relevant ads to their audiences. $273B is spent on advertising yet post-click technology has been overlooked, despite it being where the conversion happens. This has led to an abysmal 3.75% conversion rate being accepted as the norm and billions of dollars wasted annually on clicks that lead nowhere. The technology for turning the clicks into conversions was simply non-existent. Marketing automation platforms were built for outbound demand generation emails, to qualify, score and nurture existing leads. They simply failed to match the volume, velocity and scale requirements of digital advertising. And hence the conversion stage of the funnel lagged quite a bit and this is the problem that we want to solve with our post-click optimization platform that built for advertising.
3. We recently covered your press release on how Instapage has become the first ever Martech company to offer 1:1 personalization. Can you elaborate more on that?
Absolutely. Personalization is an essential ingredient for impactful and effective marketing. Offering relevant experiences have been proven to increase performance. Specifically, with digital advertising, the advertising platforms have done a good job of offering the capabilities to deliver 1:1 personalized ads. But once an ad is clicked, often the traffic is sent to a generic landing page or to the company’s home page. Because existing personalization technologies require extensive coding. We automate the process so you don’t need developers anymore. Advertisers can design and build unique, post-click experiences for every audience to achieve 1:1 ad-to-page personalization in minutes, and without a developer. Instapage is the first platform to offer this capability for advertisers.
4. Given the changing dynamics in the advertising and automation world where do you see Instapage fitting in the ecosystem?
Instapage sits directly at the intersection of the two. Instapage turns ad clicks into conversions and sends converted leads and customers into your marketing automation or CRM platform through our direct integrations with leading automation and CRM platforms.
5. What changes are you majorly concentrating on to enhance and plug-in a more actionable customer interaction and communication model?
Our customers are large marketing and digital advertising teams where many different roles collaborate to create post-click experiences. We offer many capabilities to enable these workflows to increase the efficiencies and ultimately performance. We offer Collaboration for teams which is a feature that none of our competitors offer. Our workflows offer every role their own space to complete their piece and collaborate with the team to get campaigns out quickly, at the speed of advertising.
6. How do you manage the dire data complexities that come along with tech integrations?
We’re living in an age where marketing professionals are using a wide variety of tools in their MarTech stacks to run a highly functioning team. Oftentimes, these tools all need to work together cohesively in order for marketing channels to produce results. Instapage is typically one of the tools in these stacks and we strive to be a steward of customers’ data. Instapage is typically one of the tools in these stacks and we strive to be a steward of customers’ data. That’s why we’ve built a healthy ecosystem of 3rd party applications to which marketers can connect and workflows in our tools to transform and send data to all the other platforms in the format that works best for our customers.
7. “Personalization is the key to recurring customers”. How far do you justify this statement?
If a message is too generic or doesn’t align with a customer’s needs and desires, they are going to become disinterested and eventually churn.
As a business, you need to continually optimize your pages and personalize on a more targeted level to eventually achieve a one-to-one conversation with each individual visitor.
8. Which startups in the martech arena are you keenly following?
HubSpot, Adobe, Marketo, Optimizely – not exactly startups, but I believe these companies are continuing to make noise in the MarTech space and will continue to drive innovation.
9. Elaborate on your best digital transformation and innovation campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
We implemented personalization, using our own Instapage platform, for our $2 million advertising program to increase conversion rates by 7X. We started by creating 35 message-matched landing pages – one for each of our 35 key ad groups and 3 campaigns – to achieve a 21% conversion rate, which is 6X the 3% industry average. Since then, we’ve created an additional 15 landing pages to match an additional set of ad groups which resulted in a 31% average conversion rate.
10. Being a company centered around marketing automation in advertising how important do you think scalability is?
Scalability is critical to delivering unique experiences to your visitors. Instapage started with the idea of bringing scalable creation and optimization of landing pages to the masses. Now, with Personalization, advertisers can create a landing page and dynamically change the post-click experience based on the audience and ad segmentation. Thanks to the overwhelming amount of data available to us today, advertisers can create highly-targeted ads at scale. The post-click experience needs to match this granular targeting to deliver on the expectation of a relevant solution to their problems. Without the Personalization solution, it would be impossible to create the hundreds, even thousands of different experiences needed for each audience. This is why we have designed the Personalization solution with scalability in mind. After creating a landing page, you can create dozens of different experiences and dynamically change the experience based on each specific audience, using the data you already have.
11. What is the best part of working with Instapage? We don’t mind seeing some fun pictures.
The best part about working at Instapage is the impact we are creating in the $273 billion digital advertising industry by solving what we see as the biggest inefficiency in the industry. Around 60% of that spend is PPC, meaning customers pay for the clicks. And yet, only 3.75% of that spend really offers value for customers. We are here to change that. Every day I come into the office motivated to make advertising more profitable for advertisers, so they can invest more back into the industry, thus growing the industry faster.
12. What book are you currently reading?
I just finished reading AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order. AI is going to disrupt every industry and if you’re already in the tech industry and you’re not paying attention or planning now, you’re going to be dead in 5 years.
13. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
I always go back to a Steve Jobs quote, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.” in all that I do. I believe that failure is part of the process of becoming successful but too often we see failure as an end instead of an opportunity to learn and grow. That is what drives me to make Instapage a must-have platform in every serious advertiser’s Ad Stack.